Vanilla in the Heat

vanilla ice creamVanilla almost seems made for the woolens of fall and winter, a comforting and almost a warming scent. But vanilla can also have cold aspects or allude to boardwalk in a heat friendly way, one that I’ve learned to take advantage of with both recent and vintage scents.

Maitre Parfumier et Gantier’s Fleur de Comores is just such a perfume. There is a big jasmine note and some pale green shading before you get to the vanilla spun core of the perfume which is very like cotton candy. The whole thing is reminiscent of the boardwalk, stickiness, tans, and something sweet gluing your fingers together. That plus the jasmine make Fleur de Comores one of the best holiday perfumes I have ever come across.



If you are looking for another lightweight vanilla that presents  itself as airy and floral, Hermes Vanille Galante is mostly a lily to my nose, but the virtual petals release a slightly crisp fresh lily smell I associate with Easter Lilies. The vanilla is there- almost peripherally- and because of that  Vanille Galante is wonderful to wear even when the temperature has reached appalling heights.

The best citric fusion of lemon and vanilla  to my mind is still Shalimar Lite, although I am not above using any of the Guerlain super vanillas once they’re refrigerated, in July or August, even Spiritueuse Double Vanille. In fact I keep Emeraude (the prototype for Shalimar) on ice at this time of year and often wear that. If you can’t find Shalimar Lite anymore then Emeraude makes a very good stand in although Emeraude’s missing the slightly salty note that is in SL.

vanilla orchidFinally two more vanillas recently went on my summer list, Neil Morris’s Izmir, which is an improbable mixture of fig, coffee, vanilla, and rose, geranium and oud, with something faintly saline, keeping all the elements afloat in the formula, as though you could recreate a summer’s day on the coast of Turkey and suspend it in solution. Izmir is wonderful on humid afternoons and absolutely perfect for men or women. Neil is apparently not much for the sexing of perfume bottles and pretty much sells whatever appeals to his clients, so anything of his is worth a trial on skin.

Shelley Waddington’s Indigo Vanilla was another recent discovery which seems to center on an accord between violet and vanilla that is pretty and original. It’s humid today in Jersey and I am wearing Indigo Vanilla which I find very nearly as beguiling as her Go Ask Alice and Zelda. violetThere is something about IV that is particularly hard to pin down. I think maybe Shelley has hit on an accord that is very durable and yet isn’t in the least boring, and there are some ingredients here that are common to Zelda as well. I’m not sure that I’d call Indigo heat specific. Indigo is more of an all round perfume that may work as a signature for the woman who wants to have a distinctive and delicate fragrance, and although I say woman, I think this might be discreet on a man as well. But Indigo is very vanilla, and also very good, and doesn’t seem to have a high melting point, which is an important consideration for vanillas in the summertime.

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7 thoughts on “Vanilla in the Heat

  1. I came across your review while researching certain perfumes; and I read that you mentioned your input on Izmir. I was lucky enough to try Izmir. It was one to remember, in a very positive way. I personally thought it was wonderful in the sense that the coffee notes added a wonderful touch to my olfactory senses.

    1. The coffee in Izmir is one of the best uses of it I’ve ever smelled, and that includes the great A*Men series, which was a lot of fun, but could get a bit too gourmand at times. Izmir is just the perfect “summer coffee” scent. Glad that someone else likes it as much as I do!

  2. You can always be relied on to feature some ‘under the radar’ scents in your selections – similarly in your recent jasmine post. I am always looking for more steers in the vanilla line, and I am not sure I have tried Fleur de Comores, though I sense I might like it. I have tried Indigo Vanilla and agree that it is an unusual teaming of violet and vanilla that really works in an almost photorealistic way. I also love Vanille Galante, but Izmir doesn’t sound like my sort of thing, just based on the coffee note alone, hehe.

    1. Actually Izmir didn’t sound like my sort of thing either because there’s that dreaded oud monster note. (Do you tolerate or love oud? Can’t recall here) Though I realize other people love oud with a love that apparently will never die, I don’t and run for the hills every time it comes up. But Izmir got in under my defences and I didn’t notice there was any oud until after I’d fallen for the stuff.

      It’s such a bright cheerful coffee vanilla rose scent. Sounds weird, works though 🙂 As to Fleur de Comores- if you loved old Vanilia then you will love FdC too.

  3. Where have all the MPGs gone? Anyway yeah , you would find it pretty good. If I remember rightly you’ve liked Hanae Mori in the past and this is more floral and not so gourmand, but still plenty vanilla. A winner.

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